It's 0630 AM and I'm crouched in the creek under Buzz's Matilija property. I start moving, smoothly and swiftly up the creek. I pause frequently from positions of concealment to listen and look. Nothing. I continue slinking up the creek until I am well past the ranch house before easing back on to the road. I feel like I've gotten away with trespassing. I feel like a ninja.
And then I see a dog. It's friendly and does not bark. Then, another dog, followed by a jogger who says, "How's it goin'?" as he passes. Wait, what? He's trespassing too. And he came up right in front of Buzz's house. I thought this place was verboten...
I proceed on speedy feet to the top of the canyon and parked for a long, full day of R&R in the sun. I finish the LA Times crossword and read. Slumbered in the shade. Swam in the pools. Mental health recharge for my impending on-call weekend. Washing off the last weekend's on-call status. Quiet.
Any further confusion as to the state of the Matilija Hiker Ban was dispelled as I headed out. By the time I reached the truck, walking out the front door like I always have, I had passed 14 people in groups of twos and threes. Nor did I see the much publicized No Trespassing signs. So I can only surmise that Buzz's Ban was a publicity stunt to deter people from coming to Matilija. If I saw 14 people in that canyon on a Wednesday then he's clearly failed to turn the people away.